5WPR CEO Asks Will Donovan join the Thunder?

Written by:
Ronn Torossian
Published on:
5WPR CEO Asks Will Donovan join the Thunder?

Billy Donovan is one of the most successful active coaches in NCAA basketball. Rumors seem to crop up every offseason, will Donovan leave Gainesville for the NBA this year? Now, however, 2015 may finally be the year Billy D makes the jump to the big show on the hardwood.

Recently, it has been reported that the Oklahoma City Thunder are interested in hiring Donovan. According to reports, there is a contract being developed, but no firm decisions have been made. Yahoo Sports is reporting that both sides are amenable to a deal, but none is currently in place. The move could be risky – and expensive – for Oklahoma. Donovan is paid very well at Florida. Any contract that entices him away must be even larger, a tough investment for a coach that has yet to be tested at the highest levels. Yes, he has two national title rings, but college success does not always guarantee success in the pros. Another risky move, Donovan apparently has no other serious competition. The Thunder are putting all their hopes on Coach D.

Another aspect of hiring a head coach in the NBA is how he will be received by the team – a Public Relations challenge. The NBA is a different animal from other pro sports. Player relations can make or break a coach’s tenure. At this point, OKC superstar Kevin Durant appears pleased with the potential hire…but if things go sour between Durant and Donovan, they could get even worse for the entire OKC organization…and in quite a hurry.

But if Durant is happy, what’s the downside? Well, this isn’t the first time an NBA team has flirted with Donovan. The Orlando Magic wanted him back in 2007, but Donovan left them waiting at the altar. That history damaged Donovan’s NBA stock, keeping him out of any serious contention for a top spot for nearly a decade. But now he’s back…we’ll see what happens come tip-off time this fall.

5WPR’s CEO and founder, Ronn Torossian is an author and PR Agency executive.

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